Happy or Grumpy?

I am becoming increasingly aware that this year my spirits are tied closely to the weather more so than I ever have experienced before. Why? Is it because I’m getting older and thinking more about life after gardening? Is this stage of my gardening life more precious? Is it the unusually cold and freezing weather we have experienced in this area? I know in my heart that it’s not nearly so bad for me as it is for folks in other areas, but I still am rising and falling with our weather.

Even with freezing temperatures overnight, we’ve had mild afternoons this weekend. I even got in a bit of time in the garden to tidy a few of the beds. So, is spring in the air? I do have hellebores that are in bloom, and there are a few blossoms on the candytuft and creeping phlox. But nothing yet from the ipheion and muscari despite their greenery having been up and plentiful for almost two months, and the white camellia just won’t open.

However, no sooner do I get excited but I look at the weather forecast for the coming week: a predicted high of 39 and a single digit low…plus a “chance” of light snow and freezing rain. Can you just feel the gloom?

My Arranger is trying to help; she’s making one of my favorite dishes for dinner tonight and is planning a time for wine and goodies in front of the fire. That and the few early blooms in my garden should lift my spirits. And look what I saw on Chestnut Street just outside our neighborhood:


I’ve been waiting since the first of the year to see these daffodils blooming, when they have normally bloomed in the past. Can you just feel the cheerfulness?

Sometimes I feel like I’m on some kind of garden centered roller coaster. I know. I really do. You keep telling me that spring will surely come. Is it all the groundhog’s fault?



About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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16 Responses to Happy or Grumpy?

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Life AFTER gardening?? What are you talking about?


  2. mjarz says:

    I can relate. As the days lengthen and warm weather teases us with the hope that spring is right around the corner my spirits lift. I can’t wait to go play in the yard. But the calendar reminds me it is February and the forecast even more so! I bide my time with a good novel, a painting project and other distractions, knowing each day brings us closer to spring.


  3. bittster says:

    Give it time 😉
    I agree that my mood is much better on a sunny bright day than it is on a gloomy grey one. Even with our coldest weather of the year the lengthening days still keep my spirits bright!


  4. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks. I’m trying hard to join you.


  5. Cathy says:

    Hope you at least get some sunshine this coming week, even if it is cold John. It’s a tough time of year, but the thought of all that is yet to come should keep us going! 🙂


  6. Christina says:

    I have felt exactly like that too this year. The past week has cheered me up and today the garden is full of Iris reticulata (I exaggerate), but thee are lots and they fill me with hope for spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Julie says:

    Keeping upbeat in the cold wet winter months is always a challenge, I worry about my back and try and take as many pilates classes as I can, I’d recommend that John, lots of men go too where we are. And yes I can feel the cheerfulness in your Daffodil photo, thats a very hopeful image. Fingers crossed your next cold snap does not last too long.


  8. Annette says:

    I feel I don’t support winters like I used to, John, that’s why we moved further south and it helps as there’s always something to cheer me up in the garden and winters are pretty mild. This might make you laugh but I do wonder at times how many more springtimes I shall see and get really nervous then…planting bulbs like mad in autumn to make sure that spring gets more and more spectacular. Crazy or normal when we get older?


  9. johnvic8 says:

    It most certainly is not crazy and, based on my current feelings, it has much to do with getting older. I’m reluctant to start another bonsai, for example, because I know I won’t be around to tend to it in twenty years. I too planted more bulbs last fall then usual.


  10. Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be….another spring garden you have created that will bloom on. Never older, but wiser!


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